IHG announced a global partnership with JA (Junior Achievement) Worldwide, one of the world’s largest youth-serving non-governmental organizations, which focuses on preparing young people for future employment and entrepreneurship. The year-long partnership will support more than 750 young people as they gain skills and experience in hospitality in nine major markets worldwide.
Yasmin Diamond, executive vice president, global corporate affairs, IHG, commented: “We’re proud to be the first hospitality company working with JA Worldwide to inspire hundreds of young people to experience careers in the industry. Together with JA, we’ll be able to give young people a close-up view of the variety of roles available in hospitality, together with the skills they will gain through different experiences and training.”
Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO), commented: “The tourism sector is an integral part of the global development agenda, driving economic growth and creating jobs, in particular for women and youth. UNWTO believes that private sector cooperation is essential if we are to realize tourism’s true potential as a force for good. We warmly welcome this new initiative and are confident it will make a real difference to the lives of many young people. UNWTO also looks forward to working closely alongside IHG to create more and better opportunities for all.”
Gaining experience with IHG First Look
Working together with JA, IHG is developing a curriculum to run a hotel work experience event called IHG First Look, to provide young people typically aged 14-18 with the opportunity to receive hands-on experience working in a hotel. Combining classroom working and a practical hotel takeover, students will receive a close-up look at what a career in hospitality entails.
Building on the relationship, in early 2020, IHG and JA will run a set of innovation camps, which will focus on solving a sustainability-based problem core to the hospitality industry. Students that come up with the most innovative idea will enter a virtual global final – with scope for the winning idea to be implemented across IHG’s global hotel estate of more than 5,700 hotels.